Thursday, January 27, 2011

Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles

The first time I ever heard of Merrie Destefano is when she added me as a friend on FaceBook. My first reaction was to send her a message asking who the heck she was (as I do for all other people who I have no clue who the heck they are). She simply replied saying she was a new Christian author who had a book coming out soon.

So I guess I just shrugged and sort of reluctantly accepted. Several times afterward I've heard things about her novel, Afterlife, but I had no clue what it was about. From the title and the cover, I didn't feel too interested. I might someday get around to reading it, but for that time being I certainly had enough to read.

Later I read Merrie's description of her own novel, and I got slightly interested. Then later I entered a sweepstakes on a website to win a signed copy of the book. After that, I practically forgot about the book. Still remembered it every once in a while, but never got too interested.

Well, that was until a week or two ago when I found out that I won that sweeptakes. One out of five winners, not including the grand prize winner who won a $100 Amazon gift card (unless that was included with one of the people who won a signed book). This was a few months after the sweepstakes ended.

It was right then, after I read the email from the website, that I realized that if I hadn't won, I might never get around to reading the book.

I started the novel. It takes place in a strange world. It's actually our world, in the far future. The book never gives a date, which I believe is intentional. These days the hottest products and stuff you can buy are electronics, computers, video games, awesome things from ThinkGeek, et cetera. In this strange future, the hottest item you can acquire is not exactly an item. It's a longer life.

Every time you die, you have a chance to resurrect again. You can live up to nine lives, having a lifespan of around 500 years. Every time you die and resurrect, you can a new body and a new life. You lose many memories, but you remember many as well. Dying and resurrecting is a good way to escape your current life, whether due to depression, or being chased by the government.

There are many rules to follow, though, and one of them being that after resurrection, you must be looked after by a "Babysitter" for a week until you become stable.

Enter Chaz Dominguez, long-time Babysitter and descendant of the man who "invented" resurrection. His brother owns the resurrection company, Fresh Start, but he is just a plain old Babysitter.

But there's nothing really boring about being a Babysitter. You can break more laws than anyone otherwise would guess, and use many strange weapons, as long as you do not abuse your authority and powers.

Chaz was recently given another "Newbie" to look after for their first week of new life, and she seems like just another normal Newbie. But after a while, Chaz starts to believe there's something else about her. Something's not right about her, and his is just nagging him to find out what.

Alas, an adventure starts. An adventure of mystery, suspense, and trial. A government plot is discovered, a top secret organization arises, and guess what I'm going to say. Like I've said for almost all of the rest of my book reviews, the main character is thrown into it all. Chaz, his brother Russel, his Newbie Angelique, and some mysterious space-police dude.

Actually there is no mentioned space travel. That was a joke. The last character mentioned is a high-ranking officer in the current law-enforcement system on earth. His name is and was Skellar. He was not trustworthy or too bright. No wonder the characters didn't trust him.

The story overall blew my mind. I do say that a lot too, and it's true. It was one of those novels that drew me in and didn't let go unless I forced it. By the awesome ending, I'll say the book is really amazing.

There's an occasional "damn" or "hell" in the book, but I don't mind it much. People swear a lot worse in modern-day television and movies. Besides, I don't even consider "hell" a swear word (don't see how it is).

The book took me a while for me to stop saying "huh?" This was a very strange future. There was technology such as resurrection, amazing virtual reality technology, a strange and extremely powerful weapon called "liquid light", and even more. I was having trouble thinking of this as an actual world.

Well, until I thought of it in Star Wars terms. This story isn't any more wacko than our old favorite science fiction TV and movies. It's almost more believable, the way it's written.

Anyway, I thoroughly loved this book. If you're into science fiction and/or thrillers, you'll love this book too.

Strange enough, in the amount of time it took me to write this review, I had enough time to read another whole 400-500 page novel (it takes a long time for me to write, I guess), so expect another review in the next several days. I might start it today. Maybe finish it too, but I don't know.

Anyway, see ya around!

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